Your council

Freedom of Information publication scheme

Our 'freedom of information publication scheme' describes the type of documents we publish, acting as a guide to the 'classes of information' available.

The information mentioned is available either:

  • on this website to browse for free
  • in leaflet form available via our customer centre
  • on paper at public offices and can be inspected in person by appointment (charges may apply)

Classes of information

This scheme is the Information Commissioner’s model scheme covering:

It does not include:

  • information where the disclosure is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure
  • information in draft form
  • information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons

Get information in other languages and formats

We'll provide information in the language that it's held, or legally required. We can also make information available in other languages including Cantonese, Bengali, Polish, Urdu and Turkish - see interpreting and translation.

We'll adhere to our obligations under disability and discrimination legislation to provide information in other forms and formats, when we provide information in accordance with this scheme.

Charges for information

The purpose of this scheme is to make information readily available at minimum inconvenience and cost to the public. Any charges for information published under this scheme are specified by Parliament and will be justified, transparent and kept to a minimum.

Charges may relate to costs we've incurred while providing information, such as:

  • photocopying
  • postage and packing
  • the cost of viewing information

Charges may also be made if they are legally authorised and justified in 'the general principles of the right of access to information held by public authorities'.

Well tell you about any costs before information is provided. Payment may be requested before any information is given.

Freedom of information requests

Make a Freedom of Information request if the information you need isn't already published under this scheme, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

Scheme approval and adoption

This scheme was adopted by us on 10 December 2008 and amended in July 2012.

Who we are and what we do

Council constitution

The constitution explains the structure and workings of the council including the main rules and procedures under which the council operates. It sets out who makes decisions and how they are made, and the rights of citizens to obtain information and to influence decisions.

The constitution is maintained under Section 37 of the Local Government Act 2000.

Council democratic structure

City of York Council is lead by a team of executive members.

Council directorate structure

Our services and functions are grouped within five directorates and the Office of the Chief Executive.

Location and opening times of council properties

Our customer centre has information about our opening times and location.

Elected councillors and contact details

York has 47 councillors in total, details of local councillors including names, areas and political parties are available online.

Contact details for service areas

You can contact us via the relevant contact details which are included at the foot of all pages on our website. Alternatively our customer centre can provide contact details for each customer-facing service area.

Recent election results

Results of local elections are available online.

Relationships with other authorities

We are a unitary authority which means we provide all 'principal services' (different from the 'two-tier' arrangement found elsewhere). 32 parish councils also provide services for residents within the City of York area.

Central government provides funding and guidance on our provision of services we have a close relationship with government departments covering schools and education, and benefits.

We also work with North Yorkshire Police to reduce crime and disorder, and with the York and North Yorkshire Primary Care Trust (part of the NHS) for social care.

We are a member of the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) of local public authorities, providing community leadership in the City. We provide facilities for elections within the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) area for councillors, parish councillors and members of Parliament.

The Returning Officer in charge of elections has a special legal status distinct from the council although the facilities they need are provided by us.

The Monitoring Officer has a slightly different special status, and is responsible for ensuring that we always act lawfully and in the public interest and promote good ethical governance within the council, part of which involves the oversight of complaints about councillors. They also act as Monitoring Officer for the parishes within our boundaries.

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What we spend and how we spend it

Financial statements, budgets and variance reports

Summary budget information describing how we plan to spend money is sent to resident's annual along with council tax information. More details are available in budget papers, capital programme papers, periodic monitoring and variance reports within our modgov system.

Our statement of accounts shows how money actually was spent.

Financial audit reports

The statement of accounts includes the auditor’s certificate.

The members’ allowances scheme

Each year we publish details of councillor allowances and expenses paid to our elected members in the previous year.

Election expenses

Details of election expenses are available via the Guildhall by appointment.

Procurement procedures

We publish general information about our procurement policy.

Contracts currently being tendered

European Union rules for public procurement and our own financial regulations, require open competition between suppliers, and this is achieved by public advertisement for all but the smallest contracts. The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) is used along with for councils within the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Contracts awarded and their value

Information about our contracts can be viewed by potential contractors and members of the public, including those awarded and completed (it may be necessary to set up an account to see some details, but there is no charge).

Internal financial regulations

Financial regulations can be found in the constitution.

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Our priorities and performance

Annual report

Our annual report looks back at our achievements over the past year.

Forward plan

Forward plans lists all the key decisions the council has to make over the coming months.

Ofsted reports

OFSTED inspects the provision of education, see Ofsted reports for more information.

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How we make decisions

Most decisions are made by councillors, others ('officer decisions') are made by senior officers to keep services running day to day.

Timetable of council meetings

A calendar of upcoming council meetings is available, where can search by committee name, date and ward.

Agendas, reports, background papers and minutes of council committee meetings

Agendas and reports for public meetings are published in advance. See committee meetings.

Analyses of facts considered for major policies

Our report writing protocol requires options and analysis to be presented in all reports so councillors have all relevant information to help them make the right decision.

For particular analyses, see the report on the matter or decision in question (listed by meeting where the decision was made) - searching our modgov system.

Public consultations

Our Business Intelligence team is the first point of contact for enquiries about opinion surveys, other research, and public consultation being carried out by us.

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Our policies and procedures

Policies and procedures for conducting council business

The constitution explains our structure, all the rules and procedures under which we operate, who makes decisions and how they are made.

Recruitment and employment policies and procedures

Get information about working for the council, jobs and career. Policies relevant to both recruitment and the delivery of the council’s services include:

Customer service

See our customer service standards.

Charging policies

All our services (including providing information), may be subject to a charge. Details of costs will be given before the service/information is provided and we may ask for payment before providing services or information.

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Lists and registers

Public registers and registers held as public records

We maintain the following statutory registers and access is governed by a particular legal process:

The Registrar maintains registers of births, deaths and marriages. For family history research, see York Explore

Asset register

York's Capital Strategy Statement and Corporate Asset Management Plan ensure we have an effective strategy and operational plan to make the best use of our resources and assets.

Register of councillor's interests

Each councillor’s declaration of interests can be seen via our modgov system.

Registers of gifts and hospitality

Each director keeps a register of any gifts and hospitality received by staff, which is available for inspection during office hours - contact our customer centre to make an appointment.

Register of electors

We make and keeps two versions of the register of electors, the full register, and the edited register. You can buy a copy of the edited register or make an appointment to view the full register - contact our customer centre for details.

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Services provided by us

You can find information about all our services on this website or you can contact our customer centre for more information.

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Also see

Corporate Governance Team - Information Governance

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 554145